WATCH: Is Yulin Turning Its Back on Dog Meat?

WATCH: Is Yulin Turning Its Back on Dog Meat?

Exciting changes are happening in Yulin, China — dragons and catwalks are taking center stage as Yulin shifts the focus of its summer festivals away from dog meat! We are set on encouraging Yulin to replace dog meat entirely with this new-look festival.

This summer, Yulin hosted a high-profile modern fashion show and a vibrant lion dance competition at the same time as the notorious Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. Our friends at the Duo Duo Project reported that the Yulin Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, and Tourism widely publicized these positive cultural celebrations that don’t rely on animal cruelty.

This shift is further evidenced by the noticeable absence of new temporary dog meat stands, which usually pop up during the festival. Many of the older stands have also disappeared — a change Duo Duo Project attributes to the new Yulin Party Secretary, Wang Shen, who took office in June 2023.

While we want to see the dog meat trade closed entirely in Yulin and throughout China, we must welcome this significant moment for dogs and cats in China. Government support for the fashion show and lion dance contest demonstrates a growing recognition of the need to move away from the brutal dog and cat meat trade. Our collective advocacy is making a difference!

The Yulin dog meat festival is a symbol of extreme animal cruelty that sees thousands of dogs and many cats brutally slaughtered for their meat on the summer solstice. In Defense of Animals has been at the forefront of efforts to end it.

China’s cat and dog meat trade depends on the illegal theft and transport of beloved animal companions who sometimes arrive at the market wearing their collars. In 2020, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture stripped dog meat traders of all legitimacy by delisting dogs from its national directory of animals that can be bred, raised, traded, or transported commercially. Shenzhen and Zhuhai in Guangdong province passed city-wide bans on dog and cat meat in the same year. 

Along with our partners in the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition, we are encouraging China to continue its crackdown on cat and dog meat by passing a national ban like South Korea’s. 

Your voice powers our advocacy to pressure authorities to end cat and dog meat in China and around the world. Please take a moment to keep the pressure on President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang to keep the pressure on: sign our alert. 

While China is estimated to slaughter around 10 million dogs and 4 million cats every year, most Chinese people don’t eat dogs or cats, and many are appalled by Yulin's slaughter. China has over 200 animal rescues and many more activists who go to great personal risk to rescue animals.

A critical part of our work is partnering with Chinese rescuers to save the lives of cats and dogs. We turn tragedy into triumph for survivors, but the key to success is you! Adopting a survivor is a rewarding and fulfilling experience that makes you part of a special community. Right now, you can be a hero for Mulan who lost her paws, or change the world for Mars, who was being sold in a sack.

While we celebrate these positive steps in Yulin, we must also acknowledge the challenges rescuers face. Starting August 1, 2024, new federal government restrictions by the Center for Disease Control on dog imports will make it significantly more expensive to bring rescued dogs from China to loving forever homes in the U.S. These restrictions will double the expense of flying Yulin survivors for adoption.

This short window is rapidly closing and it’s crucial to fund rescue efforts right away. Our dedicated rescuers are committed to overcoming all barriers and finding safe, loving homes for cat and dog meat survivors… but it’s all built on your essential support. Your generosity directly impacts how many dogs and cats are saved.

Suki Land Rescue is one rescue caring for survivors from Yulin’s Dog Meat Festival and other dog meat slaughterhouses. Suki has provided over 100 dogs with safety and loving care since 2017. Most dogs remaining in her care are traumatized or suffer health problems from their abuse. They need special attention and an extra level of veterinary care, particularly as they age. However, the rescue’s funding has reached dangerously low levels. You can greatly help Yulin’s senior survivors live out the rest of their lives in peace and love by donating today.

How YOU Can Help

Adopt a Survivor: Loving homes for deserving dog and cat meat survivors are always needed. Apply now to adopt: 

Donate to Save Dogs & Cats: It costs around $2,000 to successfully rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome a dog meat survivor. Support our ongoing rescue efforts for cat and dog meat victims with a donation.

Become a Flight Volunteer: If you fly between the U.S. and Asia, you can help courier dogs to new homes. Learn about our ongoing need for flight volunteers.

Take Action: Urge China to stop Yulin’s dog meat festival by banning the dog and cat meat trade: sign our alert.

Make the Switch: If you love dogs and cats, please consider pigs, cows, chickens, fish, and sheep. No animal wants to suffer or die for meat. Make the connection and download our Vegan Starter Guide.